English Turn Golf and Country Club
New Orleans, La.
July 22-26, 2002

Boys and Girls Champions claim titles by one stroke

NEW ORLEANS - Jonathan Lenz of San Antonio and Stephanie Godare of Houston waited until their final AJGA event to pick up their first victories. Both 18-year-olds completed their AJGA careers in winning style before they head off to compete on the collegiate level. Lenz erased a two-stroke final round deficit to finish at the top of the leaderboard and Godare claimed top honors in the Girls Division after a final-round, even-par 72.

The 54-hole tournament, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, featured 84 players representing 16 states and included 10 Louisiana natives. It was held at English Turn Golf and Country Club. Past champions of the event include PGA TOUR players Scott Verplank, Bryce Molder and Brian Watts, and LPGA tour players Grace Park and Michelle McGann.

Lenz, who has signed with the University of Mississippi, posted a final-round 71 to end with a three-day total of 216. He won by one stroke over Michael Birtel of New Orleans.

"This is exactly what I wanted," Lenz said. "I felt like I could win coming into it. I wouldn't have been disappointed if I didn't win, but I wanted this one."

Lenz (74-71-71--216) stayed out of trouble all day and benefited from the help of four birdies on the difficult English Turn course.

"I hit the ball well all week," Lenz said. "I couldn't make a putt the first two days and had to depend a little more on my driver and irons. My putter came through for me today though."
Lenz came out aggressive and recorded three birdies on the front nine before play was halted for 50 minutes because of severe weather.

"After the delay I came out and played it safe," Lenz said. "I was trying to hit fairways and greens and get home."

Birtel finished alone in second with a three-day total of 217. Chase Watkins of Fort Collins, Colo., and Ryan Henry of Broken Arrow, Okla., rounded out the top five with a total of 219.

Godare, who has signed a letter of intent to Texas Christian University, held off defending champion Jennifer Pandolfi of Navarre, Fla., to win by one stroke.

"I am kind of relieved," Godare said. "I have been waiting to win an AJGA tournament since I was 13."

She had three birdies during the final round, but none was more important than her first one on No. 3. Godare (78-73-72--223) drained a 40-foot birdie putt on the 134-yard, par-3 third to get her game rolling, but it did more than that. It helped calm her nerves during the final round.
"I started off the day a little nervous," Godare said. "But that putt kind of calmed me down and after that I was fine."

Godare, who entered the day with a one-stroke lead, played conservatively trying to record par and escape with the title.

"I was going after fairways and greens," Godare said. "I was trying to two putt and make pars. It was boring golf, but I was consistent all day."

Pandolfi finished in second at 224 and Sookhee Baek of Bradenton, Fla., placed third with a total of 227.

For more information regarding the hp Junior Classic at English Turn, please contact our national headquarters at (877) 373-2542.

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